Hiring A Student Worker

Co-op Students

Co-op student appointments are different from other student appointments due to the formal academic aspect. Students need to apply to the Co-op program and meet the programs guidelines in order to be accepted into the program.

To be eligible for a Co-op student appointment position, a student must be enrolled in a Co-op program from a Canadian institution. Once accepted into a Co-op program, an international students would apply for an off-campus work permit and would need to obtain the work permit prior to accepting any Co-op positions.

Note: Prior to offering a Co-op position to a student, please ensure you confirm with the Co-op office that the student is able to legally work for UBC and you review the student’s permit information if applicable.

The supervisor needs to have performance reviews/discussions with the Co-op student as the student needs to meet his/her learning objectives and goals. The Co-op Coordinator will meet with both the supervisor and Co-op student together midway through the appointment to review how things are going and if the student is on-track to meet his/her objectives.

If any issues and/or concerns arise, the Co-op Coordinator is contact person and resource for both students and departments.

Eligibility For Student Appointments (Excluding Co-op)

To be eligible for a student appointment, a student must be enrolled in a Canadian institution and maintain a minimum of 18 credits in the Winter session (September-April) and a minimum of 9 credits in the Summer session (May-August). If the student does not meet these requirements, then they must be hired as a staff member instead.

Note: A student is no longer considered a student after his/her convocation date. However, in practice, we have allowed students to continue working until the end of the term. For example, if a student’s convocation is in May, he/she could continue in his/her student appointment until the end of August. If a student’s convocation is in November, he/she could continue in his/her student appointment until the end of December.

The department is responsible for confirming student workers maintain the minimum credits as outlined above. If a student drops or withdraws from courses causing the number of credits to fall below the minimum credit requirement, the department must terminate the student’s employment. It is also the department’s responsibility to ensure a student is not on academic probation in order for the student to maintain his/her student appointment.

International students studying at UBC who are in possession of a valid student visa are eligible for student work opportunities provided by UBC. They do not require any further permission from the federal government to work on campus. If an international student is studying at another Canadian institution, he/she must have an off-campus work permit in order to work for UBC.

All students, whether international students or not, must have a SIN assigned to them before they can be paid by UBC. The SIN is not an employment authorization. It registers the student with Revenue Canada so that statutory deductions will be recorded properly.

Advertising a Student Position

BCGEU TA positions for a September to April period are required to be posted in accordance with LOU #2 of the BCGEU collective agreement. For more information, please refer to the BCGEU collective agreement.

Other student positions do not require posting. You may choose to advertise on your department’s website. UBC departments can post UBC jobs for free on the UBC Career Services website. Please refer to the Student Career Services website for details.

Searching & Selecting (the Interview)

It is always recommended to interview applicants and conduct two to three supervisory reference checks on your top candidate, including a reference from his/her current supervisor if applicable.

Note: A best practice is to develop interview questions relevant to the position, similar to what you do for a staff position.

During the interview, the department should ask the student if he/she currently holds any other active student appointments. It is beneficial to both the student and the department to address this topic prior to making an offer, not only to determine if the student’s hours per week exceed the practiced maximum, but also to ascertain if the student is able to reasonably meet the commitments required to successfully perform the role.

It is important to consult collective agreements for unionized BCGEU positions as some positions will have recall rights. For instance, once an individual has held a TA appointment, it is expected (barring unsatisfactory evaluations) that they will be reappointed. See LOU #2, Criteria of Reappointment, of the BCGEU collective agreement.

Making an Offer

Remember that a verbal offer is considered binding. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your Department/ Faculty Administrator and/or a Human Resources Associate prior to making a verbal offer.

If any student position requires the student to work with children or vulnerable adults, the offer of employment must be made contingent on the results of a Criminal Records Check (CRC). For further information on when a CRC is required and the process for conducting a CRC, see Criminal Records Checks at UBC.

Departments are responsible for creating student offer letters, except for Miscellaneous jobs (ie. Student Assistant positions). You must ensure the offer letter indicates that the terms and conditions of their employment are subject to the Employment Standards Act. If you need assistance with drafting the offer letter, please contact a Human Resources Associate.

Offer letters for Miscellaneous jobs (ie. Student Assistants) are drafted by HR and sent to the employee with a copy to the department. Please ensure that you check with HR prior to appointing a Student Assistant as the salary rates must be equivalent to the BCGEU salary scale.

Please place a copy of the student’s offer letter in your departmental files. Ensure that the student’s position, wage (hourly or monthly), and dates of employment are included in the letter and the letter is on department letterhead with the appropriate signatures. Download the non-union student offer letter template here.

Departments hiring Teaching Assistants and Markers are responsible for providing these employees with a BCGEU Membership Application Card – TA Marker. As per the instructions on the form, employees are to fill out, sign and photocopy the form, providing a copy to their Administrator. The original copy is to be sent to the Union Chairperson through Campus Mail. If an employee is rehired in the same or another BCGEU position, they do not have to fill out the form again.

Hire through ePAF

To hire a student employee, initiate an ePAF. Please upload a copy of the signed offer letter to the ePAF, unless HR is drafting the letter. If this is a new employee, all payroll documents (direct deposit and tax forms) should be attached to the ePAF as well.


Student workers must complete their timesheets and submit their timesheets to the department. It is the department’s responsibility to ensure the student knows the deadline for submitting timesheets and to forward the timesheets to Payroll.

Students workers are not eligible for honorariums.

Additional funding commitments to be considered when hiring students.

Students can check their paystubs online via their CWL self-service portal.

Common Types of Student Appointments

Student Appointment matrix can show you common types of Student Appointments at the UBC Okanagan campus.